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a generation, informed me that his respect for British
officers was profound, and that he had invariably found
them ideal colleagues ; and he added that he had long
since ceased to check their statements. Throughout
Persia the English officials, who lead lonely lives with
few amenities, are a power for good, and it is impossible
to exaggerate the services rendered by them to the Persian
Government in cases in which accurate information is of
great value. Equally important assistance is sometimes
given by conveying messages from the Persian Govern-
ment to rebellious tribes.
The Cossack Brigade.—In previous chapters reference
has been made to the military missions of Great Britain
and France, which attempted to turn the Persian army
into an efficient fighting machine. After the retirement
of the English military mission in the reign of Mohamed
Shah, French officers again appeared on the scene, to be
followed later by Italian and again by French officers.
In 18785 Great Britain having meanwhile refused her aid,
an Austrian mission was engaged, but it effected little
progress and its officers gradually retired. The Russians
also took up the task, and simultaneously with the
appearance of the Austrian mission a regiment was
organized on the Cossack model. One thousand Berdan
rifles and some guns were presented by the Tsar, and,
thanks to Russian support and the capacity shown by the
Russian officers, this regiment has expanded into a
brigade, which with its complement of guns represents
the most efficient unit of the Persian army.
The Renter Concession,, 1872.—In 1871 the Shah
appointed his representative at Constantinople to the post
of Sadr-i-Aazam) an office which had not recently been
filled. Mirza Husayn Khan, the new Grand Vizier,
believed sincerely that the salvation of Persia lay in
fulfilling all treaty obligations towards Russia, while
confiding the regeneration of the country to Great
Britain. In pursuance of this policy^ it was determined
to create a gigantic monopoly, through which were to
be effected the construction of railways, the working of
mines, and the establishment of a national bank. In